I think I'm a little in love with both Tony Hill and Carol Jordan. Make of that what you will, I don't
much care! I've loved them since The Mermaids Singing in 1995, over twenty years now. I think I
know them well. But the downside for book reviewing is that it may make me less than objective.
It's like when you have a really comfy pair of slippers, they are threadbare in places and there
might be a hole developing on the sole but they really are so comfortable they simply cannot be
This novel seems more about relationships than crime although a crime is solved but it seemed
secondary to me. That might put readers off if you're looking purely for a crime novel.
But on a broader level it does work for a possibly biased me! I think I've read nearly all McDermid's
work from the Lindsay Gordon series through to this recent novel. And I so admire how this writer
has moved effortlessly with the times. Taking on board developments in forensics and police
procedures but also embracing wholeheartedly the digital age and allowing the fictions to be driven
forward on a cyber wave.
An interesting aside here which I found quite spooky was that prior to reading this book I had just
read a copy of Lindy West's Shrill which also deals with social media trolls.
So is this a book 'just' for the fans? Maybe. But I defy anyone who enjoys a good thriller not to be
absorbed by the actual crime; the genesis, the execution, the M.O., even if you aren't captured by
the Hill/Jordan relationship and those of other members of the 'team'.
Val McDermid is a master of her art and I will continue to read anything she writes. Even a cereal